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James Whittington
Software Combinations?
on May 11, 2012 at 6:00:05 pm

Hey all!

This is kind of a general question, so not really sure if this is the right forum...but I guess it's as good as any!

I've been an editor for a few years. Right now I'm using Final Cut 7 (was hesitant to X after all the debate) and have some basic After Effects skills. I'd like to improve my motion graphic abilities, both within AE and possibly getting into some 3D.

I'm trying to figure out what combination of software would work best for me moving forward. There are lots of options, many of which I don't know much about. Thinking about Smoke for Mac. Would that eliminate my need for both FC and AE? Has anyone made that transition and found it difficult/easy? I would like to just stick with FC and try to build my AE skills further, but unsure of FC's future. Also looking at Cinema 4D for 3D work. Again, does Smoke do many of the same things or is it not as robust for 3D?

Sorry...I know that's a lot. Just wondering what combination of programs you all have found work well together?

Thanks very much!

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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Software Combinations?
on May 12, 2012 at 2:39:13 pm

Heck, with the price of the software it can be argued you buy them all and use the one best suited for the task at hand...

But Smoke 2013 isn't released yet, so it's tough to say how much of an "editor" it will be (though there's every outlook saying it will be great). Smoke for Mac (what's out right now) sure wouldn't be my first choice for cutting with, rather it was a finishing tool to be used after the edit was done on FCP or Avid.

I'd not count out FCP X just because those who don't know how to run it say it won't work for them. Make your own mind up using the free demo to decide with. IMHO FCP X is the fastest NLE out there right now. But it's so different from other NLE's (no tracks being the biggie difference) that unless you've some decent training, you'll just not "get it", or there's of course those Apple bashers out there that will use any excuse to bash. Bet they don't want to give up OS X though... LOL.

One thing's sure, of all the NLE's out there, the only one written in native OS X code is FCP X... that says volumes about it's future on the OS X platform. Heck, in less than a year, there's been 2 releases with new features added. Can't say I've ever seen development of an NLE go that fast. Reason is the native code base.

Avid and Adobe are sure putting their best foot forward, but it remains to be seen whose software is going to dominate. Doesn't really matter anyway, because nobody is going to care what you edited on, rather they'll only care about results.

Eventually, every FCP 7 edit station is going to go the way of the dodo, but until your machine dies that still runs FCP 7 there's little real reason to switch. No laws say you have to after all, and no client will give a hang on what was used to get to the finish line, as long as the finish is what was expected... right?

I'm in the exact same position, most of us are of course, and my guts say that it's a terrible moment to "have" to make a decision because nobody knows the future of the softwares, and at the moment, I think most FCP 7 users are staying right where they are watching development of FCP X come along. Or they've switched to FCP X and aren't saying for fear of being smacked down by those who say it's not professional enough. Balderdash. It's ahead of it's time probably.


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